Posted in awareness, Books, Culture, fiction, Nature, Quotes

The Elephant in the Room

“Avoiding conflict of even the tiniest kind, she was exactly the…”

Page 7, Line 5 of Ghosts and Echoes by Lyn Benedict

…wrong person for the job. Elysia belonged in the safe confines of her research lab. Yet, here she is face to face with a gigantic elephant waiting for the perfect opportunity to ram into her! It thrashed its trunk around claiming dominance of its territory. 

In contrast to the renowned elephant whisperer and South African conservationist, Lawrence Anthony, she might hit a brick wall trying to bond with this one! She remembered watching that video of Stampy, the Violent Elephant. Who knows what this one who seems twice as big will do to her?

How does one end up in this position, you may ask? 

Well, it started off with a visit to the chief of a local village who were mourning the loss of their elephant, Giggles. She died due to an unknown illness which ravaged her body. Giggles helped the natives carry many supplies over long distances. The children enjoyed the elephant’s incessant cheerfulness. She was quick to smile and enjoyed playing pranks on the kids with her trunk. 

Elysia’s expertise is in epidemiology of cancer in animals. Her boss sent her to the field to investigate the causes of this unknown illness before it spreads to other animals in the village. She just arrived in the country a week ago. She walked up to the chief and offered her condolences, “Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you!”

The chief let out a heavy sigh and wasn’t sure how to address the elephant in the room, “No elephant will ever replace Giggles, but we need a new elephant to help us carry heavy supplies. Otherwise, we will suffer greatly.”

Elysia reassured him with a hug, “I’ll see what I can do.”

*** A few weeks later ***

“How am I suppose to bring this guy back?” Elysia yells out in frustration.

So, what does she do to calm herself down? She sings the lyrics of a video she watched this morning, “Hymn for the Weekend” by Cold Play pushing what happened to caterpillar to the far back of her mind. Her sister sent her an unconventional hymn this past weekend.

Once she reaches the verse:
“Oh, angel sent from up above
You know you make my world light up
When I was down, when I was hurt
You came to lift me up”

She begins praying to angels to give her the information she needs to calmly bring this elephant back to the village. She felt a little silly, but all of the sudden an idea flashed before her eyes. 

She recently visited a conference in Johannesburg, South Africa called Elephants Alive which discussed elephant psychology and the many emotions they experienced. She does what most people in this situation wouldn’t do.

She decides to stop moving and stand very still on top of this rock in the ground.

After waiting for the few tension-ridden minutes that felt like years, the elephant didn’t feel threatened by her presence, and calmly stood there. 

In response to:

Posted in Uncategorized

Liebster Nomination #2 & #3

Good evening everyone! Feeling honored because I’ve been nominated for a 2nd Liebster Award by Rory @  A Guy called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! and a 3rd award from Dr. Tanya @ Salted Caramel It feels wonderful to enjoy recent accomplishments with my blog. Sometimes, it takes other creative individuals to bring out the best in you.

Rory has given me a lot of food for thought with thought-provoking questions I never thought of asking myself these past few months. I’ve been befuddled with some of his fun questions, but nevertheless I enjoy them. He shares some interesting quotes and musical selections. He has an interesting take on a variety of topics and he has a wonderful habit of promoting new bloggers in the morning and end of his day! His questions explores my happiness at different stages of my life, colors, inspirational things, curiosity, vices, and a banjo player. Yes… a banjo player! 🙂

I’ve enjoyed Dr. Tanya’s  posts on food, lifestyle, and health. They make me reflect on my current choices in life and help me live mindfully. She delivers interesting reviews on books and movies. She also has a creative spark writing short stories to a variety of prompts nearly every day. She also promotes other bloggers via her Blogger’s Coffee Morning. Her questions explore the origins of this blog & its future, favorite book, coffee, movie genre, and my dream vacation! Ooo la la! 🙂

Rory’s 8 Questions

1

Are you happy with the person:

1] You are: 
Even though I contemplate what it would be like to be somebody else (My Unlived Life), I’m currently happy! I’m so grateful for the conglomeration of unique experiences that make up who I am. Even though there are  times when I experience cognitive dissonance, I love those moments which make me feel so alive. I like that I’m still open to learning and growing. 🙂

2] You were:
Hm! Well, when I was a young girl, people often compared me to the young girl, Soo-Yung Han,  who was kidnapped in the movie Rush Hour. I too had a thing for Mariah Carey songs  🙂 I’d say I was a pretty happy child, but it’s easy to say that in hindsight. Looking through my old diaries, I had my own anxieties. Though I laugh about it now, it was really upsetting at the time. I also laugh at how easy it was to make me happy.

3] You think you will become?
This question causes me some anxiety because the future is something I cannot see. I don’t know how future experiences will shape me or try to break me. How will I grow from new experiences?  I currently have this vision that motivates me. It also excites me because I feel like I can create it to be whatever I want to be. 

2

How many colours can you see in the image below, list them in detail.

stones-3565221_960_720.jpg

Oh, how I love color! I won’t go as far as saying that I can hear color though. I saw this on Weird Wonders of the World the other night!

Anyway, I digress! My world is quite vibrant and filled with many shades.  As someone who’s messed with the hex values from color charts to change the pixels in her various visual art projects and someone who’s spent some time at the paint counter staring at paint chips for interior work, this will be interesting. Let’s see what catches my eye first… 🙂

Dodger blue in bottom right corner…. cyan, turquoise, teal, sky blue, mauve, violet red, cherry wood red, pink, salmon, coral, indian red, magenta, lavender, indigo, violet, purple, plum, yellow, mustard yellow, brown, mahogany, biscotti, tan, beige, hunter green, jade green, dive green, lime green, black, slate, white…

3

Is there anything within five feet of where you are currently typing that is a permanent feature and motivates you to explore your mind deeply?
This poster hangs over my bed. I bought it from the “Artist Alley” of the San Japan convention this past year. I fell in love with the magical piece when I first saw it amidst the thousands of AMAZING creative works featured by several talented artists. There was a lot of cool stuff there, yet this was the only one I bought.

The animals there are Pokemon from a childhood TV show I once watched which serves as a point of nostalgia…a sort of affection for my past. The surrounding forest is a very peaceful setting which points to my love of nature. The water in the pond represents many things: reflection, subconscious, baptism, renewal, purification, transformation. The overall tranquility of it all was what attracted me the most. I guess my life can get quite chaotic, but occasionally staring at this poster helps keeps me grounded.

4

How many vices do you have and of them which are your worst?

As a member of the human race, I know that I have them. Maybe more than I list here. 🙂 So, I’m looking through a list of vices and realize a few things. Sometimes I pay so much attention to the trees (details), I miss the sight of the forest (the big picture) which leaves me fussy and indecisive at times. Even while writing this post, I feel distracted by many details.

My planner helps resolves this issue. I organize what I need to do for the day and it helps me prioritize. I also probably need to speak up more often. I tend to hide what I’m feeling very well and get kinda secretive. I experience fear and doubt quite often!

I am voracious with many things in life. I see something, and maybe I want it all, but realize I can’t. My boyfriend saw this facet of me when he took me to this local ice cream store. Everything looked good and appealing! The worker told me, “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach right now.” This is probably my worst vice. I’m still learning that it’s okay to say no! 

5

How curious are you to new discoveries, and first time experiences even if they are possibly dangerous or risky for you to try? As in will you try them, or make an excuse not to?

Well! As I’m typing this, WordPress asks me if I would like to try the new Gutenberg editor or stick with the classic WordPress editor. I think I’m pretty curious to this new discovery despite the risk that my blog could crash from pressing the wrong button. (After all, I did back up my work elsewhere!) I’m currently trying it out right now! 🙂 

As for everything else, it does depend on the discovery, I do weigh pros and cons before diving in. That being said I’ve tried out a variety of things (trying out oysters, BLECH!), and I’ve also said no to a lot of things (skydiving).

6

If you answered No Way to question 5, what prevents you from doing so?
For the things I say “no” to, it’s due to fear. I’ve mentioned fear in my Stream of Consciousness posts, my comments, some of my poems. Fear of expression is a common theme. I started this blog partially to get over the fear. Maybe, I care what people think. Maybe, I’m afraid of getting hurt. Maybe, I want to use my money to help someone else rather than spend it on a one-time crazy life experience. Maybe, I don’t want to plummet to my death if the parachute doesn’t work… you get the idea. 🙂

7

If you answered YES Please to question 6, what motivates you to take those risks?
For the things I say yes to, it’s because I feel like life is short. I know that I would regret it if I asked myself, “What if?” It’s the satisfaction knowing that I’ve tried my best. Maybe I should try indoor skydiving to gradually warm up to the idea. 😉

8

What type of song do you think our banjo player here is playing? Provide a link to what you think it might be as your answer to this question.

I’m laughing aloud as I’m reading this question. I found some interesting stuff. The strangest I’ve seen was a banjo cover of Slipknot which I think our banjo player is least likely to play. 😉 I threw the video in there anyway. As I’m exploring banjo players, I didn’t realize I was into this sort of music. So, out of sheer excitement, I’ve included 4 videos. I was thinking he could perform a duet with Mean Mary. 😀

Dr. Tanya’s 8 Questions

1. When did you start blogging?
I started to blog May 9, 2018. Time sure flies! This blog has grown so much in the past few months!

2. Do you think you will still be blogging in five years time?
Yes, I’m enjoying all of the writing prompts and learning more about myself in the process which helps me make decisions  in life. I really love the supportive community here. I feel encouraged to explore various topics I wouldn’t have otherwise looked at.

3. Where do you like to write your posts? In your bedroom, office, home office, garden, coffee shop?
My bedroom is like my creative incubator safe place. I write nearly all my posts in my bedroom. There’s always something in here to inspire me to write.

4. what is your favourite place where you read? (reading for pleasure).
I enjoy reading in a variety of places, but my favorite is my bedroom where I can snuggle up with an afghan drinking tea next to my bedside. That’s only for pleasure though. For studies, I need to sit down in a chair and table! 🙂

5. Which book that you read as a child that you would like to read again?
Water Buffalo Days by Huynh Quang Nhuong. I bought this book from a scholastic book fair at my school. At the time I never visited Vietnam, but I wanted to know more about the country of my ancestors. It was an exciting tale of a boy and a water buffalo who was his best friend.

6. What is your favourite coffee?
Don’t drink coffee at all! I love the smell of it though. I’m more of a tea drinker. Best tea I had was from the Sapa Mountains in Vietnam!

7. What is your favourite movie genre?
Difficult to choose! I’ve enjoyed fantasy/action/romance combination in the past!

8. What would your dream vacation be ?
Also, difficult to choose! I kinda want to experience a food tour Chateaux et Bateaux: Paris, Corsica, and Sardinia or enjoy the beautiful waters in Island Idyll in the Seychelles Islands.

Nominations

Questions to Nominees

  1. What made you want to blog? / Why do you blog?
  2. What is your favorite book? Author?
  3. What is an event in your life that has brought you much joy or meaning?
  4. What are two websites that you visit regularly?
  5. What kind of superpower would you want to have?
  6. What’s your favorite local food?
  7. What does your dream vacation look like?
  8. What kind of amazing adventure would you like to go on next?
  9. What piece of entertainment do you wish you could erase from your mind so that you could experience for the first time again?
  10. Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?
  11. How do you relax after a hard day of work?

Thank you again for reading! 

Posted in Concepts, Culture, Quotes

Talkative Tag


“When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.” 
Shannon L. Alder

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/talking

Eclectic Contrarian created a talkative tag to thank those who have participated and been involved in your blog. You’re welcome to use it! Learned a thing or two about certain features on WordPress! I want to thank you guys for stopping by and giving me valuable feedback, encouragement, and constructive critique! I love interacting with you all, you’ve helped me grow in so many ways these past few months.

I was nominated by Jenna, The Sunshine Artist. I’ve enjoyed immersing myself in her lovely poetry, art, and beautiful photos that she’s collected on Pinterest. It’s like stepping into a paradise of a world! Here’s a snippet of her work:

Anyway, here are my talkative people!

Jenna from The Sunshine Artist has such a warm personality and been so supportive!

Lwbut from Lovewillbringustogether takes beautiful pictures of flowers from his garden and offers some philosophical food for thought.

Richa from iScriblr has given me so much inspiration with her posts and encouragement to start writing poetry.

Sadje from Keep it Alive has inspired me with her fascinating outlook and beautiful posts.

Cee from Cee’s Photography has taught me how to take photos of things in nature. Her flower photos are vibrant!

Winnie from Musings shares beautiful photos and poems that will touch your soul. 

Posted in Culture, poetry

My Unlived Life

It didn’t matter
that her mini black leather skirt
was flying in the wind
revealing her fish net stockings
or that her black boots with spikes 
were covered in
dandelions and dirt

She was engaged
Passionate about her art
Guided by the lyrics and beats of 
Avril Lavigne, Blink 182, Green Day
Running with her boyfriend
Jumping over fences
in the starry night

She was free to do
whatever she wanted
Spray painting her masterpiece
on the side of an abandoned building
Wearing her gas mask to filter out the fumes
Desiring to leave an impact
People will finally listen
They will understand
this crumbling world
and rise from
the ashes

Reality check: *sigh* 😉 As a teenager, I was intrigued by the punk aesthetic. There was a fearless, rebellious, mindset affiliated with the culture. Although there were several Gothic cliques in my school, I never actually participated in wearing the clothing. I might have been a graffiti artist I wasn’t disciplined by my parents. I don’t see myself climbing fences in the middle of the night. Any running I do is in the daytime. Most of my nights are spent studying.

I share these two videos of Avril Lavigne at different ages of her life to illustrate how much she has grown. Although, I never did the things she did in her teenage video, my mind and spirit was right there with her. In her later video, she talks about how her voice becomes a driving force. She asks God to keep her head above water and not let her drown.

In response to:

  • Dark Netizen’s Wacky Weekend Challenge: Black
  • VJ Knutson’s Weekly Prompt: Unlived Lives
Posted in Concepts, Events, flashback, poetry

Dark Night of the Soul

Shaken by the
deviation from plans
shifting the ground I stand on
tearing open a rift

I fall into a black hole
Attempt to grasp the colors
that will bring me back into the world I love 
but it slips between my fingers

Sense of reality shattered
Futile to glue back together
the shards of countless pieces

I’m lost in this dark place
So I rebuild myself
Fashion a new identity
that propels me back outside

Time has passed
I’ve walked around
and lived in this new skin
As I’m listening to a new friend 
he says trigger phrase
which breaks the dam

A river of tears flow from within
Reminiscing the loss of my former state
Hanging on for dear life
Friend becomes the life jacket
Keeping me buoyant
Rooted in the present

In response to:

Posted in Crafts, Culture, Events, Food/Recipes, Nature, Quotes

321 Quote Me- Celebration of Life: Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Good morning everyone! I hope all of you enjoyed Thanksgiving break! Rory from A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! nominated me for 321 Quote Me- Celebration of Life which is really befitting because I love to celebrate various occasions! So this past week was busy, and I feel that’s an understatement. Homework is giving me a lot of curve balls, and I’m now getting caught up with my drafts and tags on WordPress!

I sent Thanksgiving cards to loved ones that live all over the nation. Yes, I like email and other social media to keep in touch, but I still enjoy giving hand written cards every once in a while! It’s hard to get us all together for anything because we’re so far apart. I’m thinking one day I’ll go on a major road trip and visit all of them to catch up. There’s so much distance between us, yet it doesn’t change how I feel about them.

My roommates made a delicious Thanksgiving breakfast before I headed into work for early Black Friday sales. I had some turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, gravy, brussel sprouts, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and washed it down with some cranberry cocktail. The food made me sleepy so I took a three hour nap before my shift.  When I woke up, I got dressed, packed my Kindle reader for any potential breaks (wishful thinking… breaks might be elusive), and was ready to go!

The day before, I had the opportunity to decorate my smock which I am so grateful for! I relish any chance to be creative especially during a chaotic retail holiday. Each department was color coded, and my supervisor gave us a bunch of creative materials. I went to town with the hot glue gun! (Did I mention that my hot glue gun and I are great pals?) When my boss first handed my uniform, my vest looked like a medical smock that I might wear to a gynecologist’s appointment. 

I had to change that immediately! I added a candy cane heart, penguins, sleigh on a shiny hill, wreaths, trees, gems, smiley face emojis, red bows, Mardi Gras beads. Decided not to take my sewing machine out and give it some shape because I need lots of freedom of my arms and waist. Yes, my boss seemed to skip the Thanksgiving decorations and jumped straight to Christmas, but oh well! I work with what I got. 

Here is my battle armor for Black Friday! My roommates told me I belonged on top of a Christmas tree because I sparkled so much. I was tempted to put on a football helmet because I heard last year a customer gave a worker a black eye during Black Friday, but I figured I’m a fast dodger! Brutal indeed, but all that Jujitsu training pays off. 🙂

I arrived at my workplace an hour early and gave my parents and siblings a call. They had a wonderful dinner and were playing a dancing video game. My dad created the Thanksgiving meal this year, and he told me he really enjoyed the process of cooking for the family.  Earlier I sent my siblings a Tokyo Treat Box for Thanksgiving which has a bunch of goody snacks from Japan. They enjoyed it! We said our farewells. They wished me luck, gave me some emotional support, and hung up.

Click. My one phone call is up. I clock in, and head into the battle arena. 

It’s like walking into the eye of the storm where it is eerily calm, but you don’t trust it. 

Understandably, I heard that some of my coworkers called in sick which according to my boss may be cause for termination. Others are anxiously manning their saran-wrapped stations. Customers are keeping an eye on their goods surrounding the station like vultures.

My smock is an eye catcher, and I receive a lot of compliments from coworkers and customers alike. Man, I feel like I’m walking the red carpet! I waved at my coworkers who smiled back and honestly looked relieved when they saw me. It looked like a brief moment of respite from the constant surveillance of their merchandise.

I push through the bustling crowd and finally reached up to the front end where there was caution tape closing off the checkout lanes. I enter the ringer. Several handsome (very handsome 😀 ) police officers were patrolling the area staying very alert. The HR director (aka the referee) greeted me and gave me a pat on the shoulder. Never saw him before, but he wanted to compliment me on my smock! 

We chatted a bit about technical incubators while the managers were priming up all the cashiers giving us their best pep talk. The store director paced the floors. One of our supervisors brought a huge speaker to play a motivational musical playlist. Then they played IT… one of the latest songs from one of my favorite musicals, The Greatest Showman!

All of this is rather intensifying the situation! Some of my newer coworkers are getting more nervous while I’m just getting primed up. I look at my watch and once the minute hand hits 6:00, I hear a full range of party horns signaling the go ahead for the masses of crowds to check out. 

I take a deep breath, and a big guy is headed towards me with a set of towering boxes of toys and electronics that seem to cascade down onto the conveyor belt. I silently talk to myself, “I can do this. I have an incredible team backing me up. You don’t have to go through life alone.”

I call for help from one of the burly, muscular cart pushers to help me lift all of these boxes (some of them were bigger than me!) throughout the night. A flood of customers came through my line with a variety of questions and complaints. I feel like they were dying of hunger the way the manic crowds were frantically fighting over goods. Grateful and puzzled for the kind, patient, and pleasant customers who stopped by! I would have thought they would stick to the online option. 🙂

Piles of merchandise were strewn throughout the store. We stayed on top of it by collected them before they got trampled on by the stampede. I filtered out the noise and focused on the task at hand. Some people may be of the opinion that a mosh pit is one way to celebrate life. Not me, but some people may find it thrilling.

Pinterest

Sometimes, I think people get energized by spending Black Friday celebrating with the enormous crowds! A celebration of spending their hard hard earned savings to buy things to enhance their life or the lives of their loved ones. It may be an illusion of enhancement or a reality for others. They may enjoy walking around the store checking out the sales with their families.

I didn’t get anything that night. No time to, but I did have an eye on the 200 piece art set with an easel/stand and DIY Spa Kit. (Already thinking of methods for self-care after this onslaught 😉 ) Our supervisors provided us with a warm dinner in the break room.  I crashed on my bed the moment I got home. New memories swirling around in my mind.

Ah,
my sweet bed 
How I adore thee
Falling into the oblivion
of sleep that comes easily!

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